After a two-year investigation, Woman Care, Sharpes Family Planning and Women's
Advisory abortion clinics were all found to be in violation of Federal HIPAA
(Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act) statutes in the improper
disposal of patients' health care records. The Chicago Office for Civil Rights
began an investigation of the three clinics after a formal complaint was filed
by pro-life activist, Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a
Pro-life Society in September 2008.
In February, March and April 2008 members of CPLS (Citizens for a Pro-life
Society) conducted searches of the trash dumpsters used by these clinics. The
clinics repeatedly dumped whole patient records, including intake forms,
abortion appointment schedule sheets, recovery room reports, lab reports,
insurance forms, photo-copied driver's licenses, applications for financial aid
to off-set the cost of the abortion and other documents that revealed personal
health care information.
Hundreds of patient records were recovered, the largest share from the Woman
Care clinic, located in Lathrup Village, MI, and owned by Alberto Hodari. In
addition to the patient records, extensive bio-hazard waste and the remains of
aborted unborn children were also discovered at the clinic dumpsters. Sharpes
Family Planning is located in Detroit with its sister clinic, Women's Advisory,
located in Livonia, MI. The latter clinics are operated by Reginald Sharpe.
Miller filed the HIPAA complaints in September 2008 and OCR (Office for Civil
Rights) notified the clinics of its federal investigation in December of that
year. A fourth investigation is still pending regarding Eastpointe Gynecology,
owned by Jacob Kalo--another Detroit abortion clinic.
Two years after Miller filed her complaints, the OCR sent letters to Miller,
dated September 28 and 29, 2010, informing her that the OCR supported her
allegations. Sharpes Family Planning and Women's Advisory "acknowledged that the
disclosures occurred as alleged." Woman Care clinic offered an explanation that
a janitorial service, contracted by the clinic, was responsible for the
Miller states: “When the discovery was first made public, Hodari told Michigan
authorities that poorly trained clinic staff was responsible. However, we found
numerous patient records several weeks in a row along with all of the horrid
bio-hazard waste. I believe that this was the usual Hodari protocol and that he
was dumping patient records, bio-hazard waste and fetal remains into that trash
dumpster for years. (see video of CPLS discoveries at www.prolifesociety.com).
There is no way that such complete disregard for medical standards and
disrespect for those women occurred without Hodari and these other abortionists
knowing about it!"
In its letters to Miller the OCR states that the clinics have complied with
their directives and put into place policies and practices to ensure that future
HIPAA violations do not occur.
Miller states: I'm glad that the OCR took these complaints seriously, but I have
to say, the clinics are getting off with just another slap on the hand. Where
are the real penalties for the flagrant violations they committed? Where's the
justice for the women whose rights and dignity they violated? The OCR should
have made these abortionists pay heavy fines and retribution. These are serious
violations of HIPAA law and after two years of waiting, the outcome is rather
disappointing. The OCR could have sent a real message to other abortion
providers and that opportunity was missed."
For more information call:
Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society 248
Alyce Hilden—investigator for the Office for Civil Rights 312 353-9688 or 312
Arturo Garcia—supervising investigator OCR 312 886-5287